Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Kicking up a stink

Week 12: The final
Broadcast Wednesday 11th June

So here we are, the final stretch of what has been an entertaining, if infuriating, fourth series of The Apprentice, and Fiona and I will be here all night to recap it for you, LIVE! with accompanying typos and missed bits (we're sure the boys will add those in later).

So let us recap where we were. Sixteen 'tycoons of tomorrow' have come to London to seek a terrible jon in NotAmstrad and work for 'Britain's most beligerent boss'. Several tasks made of fail and multiple bullshit firings later, here we are at the final. If you weren't here last week, the rottweilers ripped them to shreds(ish), Lee got found out as a CV-enhancing liar, Claire was Claire, Helene had a tragic background (wrong show) and Alex was 24. And young. And 24. And Lucinda got fired for being too zany. Booo, but also good for her, because Not Amstrad strikes me as a very grey kind of place to work anyway.

And in a SHOCK! TWIST! Sralan decided not to have a mere two people in the final but to have four, because they were all 'credible candidates' (read: he wanted them all to work at NotAmsrad for a few months so he could see whose spirit he'd managed to crush the most). And in case you've forgotten, here's a brief recap of our runners and riders:

Lee McQueen
Has an unfortunate habit of speaking about himself in the third person, knows what he's talking about, even if he's never made that explicit to the rest of us, is the only person in the country (perhaps the world) who knows what a reverse pterodactyl looks and sounds like, only spent four months at uni before dropping out, not two years, can't spell and looks somewhat older than his 30 years. However, he does have a degree of task competence, is a good motivator and team leader and Fiona likes his bottom.

Helene Speight
She has large eyes that mean she can sometimes look quite attractive and at other times like a Kit Kat clock (circa Charlie Brooker). Is tall and looks like she could be quite imposing, but somehow misread her brief and thought it said 'quiet' imposing so has thus stood around in the background most of the time. She is a ballsy woman. Depending on who is editing that week, she is either very competent or doesn't do anything, except perhaps bitch at Lucinda, but as that's not an option anymore, she'll have to actually do some work this week. Sralan doesn't like her much because she is 'tainted by working for a big corporation' and is a bladdy woman.

Claire Young
A German Shepherd/Rottweiler hybrid (in her own words), Claire has gone on the bigest journey (drrrrrrrink) of the series, from being loud mouthed and bitchy, to being a bit less loudmouthed and a bit less bitchy. But hey, this is The Apprentice, any progress at all is a miracle. She is generally competent and likeable and she wouldn't kiss a snake for a million pounds, not even if Sralan told her too, but she would suck the lips off that Paul fella who did the interviews last week.

Alex Wotherspoon
Alex is young, he's only 24 you know. Has an annoying habit of pouting and chewing the inside of his cheek. Is 24. Has hypnotised all his project managers, Sralan, the interviewers and even Nick Hewer by his good looks and magic cock. Is 24. Allegedly sold rocks for £7000 a week with his brother. Has achieved a lot for his age, which is 24. Is a passive aggressive, defensive prima donna. Who is 24.

Tonight we will be watching Claire and Lee and Alex and Helene, with an assortment of former candidates, trying to create and flog some new men's fragrances. Join us at 9 for the inevitable crushing disappointment as Alex wins. It's the final cuntdown!

In the car on the way to meet Sralan. They are at a posh restaurant - or semi-posh, as he 'doesn't have £800million from splashing out on lobster dinners' (circa Claire). Lee tells Sralan he supports Tottenham Hotspur. Nicholas deLacy Brown, that was what you should have said in week one. Helene talks about how they all need to raise their game, and there no strong, oops, I mean, weak link now. Sralan makes a feeble joke about Lee paying for their meals. My sides.

NotFrances calls them, but they seem ready this time, boring shot of Lee shaving (but at least no more shots of Michael in his pants). Today's destination is an empty art gallery. Fiona says it's the same one we've seen before, which it probably is. Some dreadful music plays in the background.

Srlan tells them there'll be two teams: Claire/Lee, Alex/Helene. They will be joint team leaders (how does that work?) A motley parade wanders in to help them: Jenny Celery, Raef, Sophocles, The Best Salesperson in Europe, Matt Lucas and Simon. The Best Salesperson is the last to be picked, so so much for her mad salez skillz. Wot no Lucinda or NDLB? Gip. He tells them the task: design and pitch a fragrance. Both losers will 'leave this process' (not get fired) and one of the people in the winning team will win. Sralan desn't say what criteria he will judge that on.

In the cab Helene lies to Alex that she would have chosen him over the others t work with and in their cab, Lee and Claire discuss being sick together. Yum.

The fragrance has to retail for £29.99 and they show lots of good adverts of men's frgrances to show us what they won't do tonight.

Lee and Helene have Kevin, Raef and BSIE on their team. Alex reminds us he is 24 years of age, he is young, he has the full package. Fiona doesn't want to think about Alex's package and then dissolves in girly giggles so I think she protests too much.

Lee's team has Jenny Celery, Simon and Sophocles. Claire, Sophocles and Simon do a focus group with sme very manly men who may or may not be lorry drivers or similar, as they are wearing some kind of polo shirt uniform. Their plan is to buck the 'metrosexual trend' and go for a 'macho brand' and I smell the scent of FAIL already.

Lee says he doesn't know many men who don't want to smell like James Bond. Fiona says she's married to one.

Alex's team don't know what to do. Kevin and Alex laugh about him smell like 'stimulate'. They discuss brand titles: enigma, trust, connect. Helene, BSIE and Raef hate them all. Kevin bitches that Helene isn't good at making decisions (says him). Fiona suggests they call the fragrance domineering.

Back with the other team, and Celery is wearing some kinky boots.

Kevin pieces to camera that he left the programme too early (srsly?) and wants to prove things today. He and Alex meet with the designers but have no roduct name to base the design on. The designers look exasperated as designers on this show always do. Kevin tells the designer he wants it to feel like the exterior of a stress ball. The designer tells him that his idea is ludicrous.

They have some kind of funky bottle design now, but no name. He tries to describe it to Helene but she is panicking about the name. He says 'you're not panicking are you?' She clearly is. He tries to describe the bottle and she says she has to go. Clearly there is more going on than we are allowed to see but clearly Helene is getting the LOSE edit, at least for now. The Best Salesperson in Europe bitches about Helene.

Lee is in the car making beatbox noises and talking about glow sticks and lights going on a roulette wheel. Clealry he has a nu-rave mets casino theme for his party. And that's what he's talking about. We are told he has won the most tasks of those left but he is nervous about pitching. Yes, because he sucks at it.

Today they have to sort out their presentation and design their advert. Raef is doing his auteur director bit for the campaign for 'Dual', which arrives in a very '80s style silver and black canister. Nick is all like Helene sucks, I LOVE ALEX. Nick is 'buoyed' apparently.

Helene is at a fragrance house and they play twee music that Fiona tinks may have been used in the House of Elliot. She points out that Alex and Helene aren't working together. They discuss fragrances, the perfumier suggests chocolate, curry, candy floss. Helene worries that you don't want to smell like a chicken balti.

Lee's idea is to revive 'the old fashioned gambling gentleman' and the location for their ad is a nightclub. Sophocles is behind the camera again, proving that neither he nor Raef have learned from the task fail before. Lee pulls a sex face and the whole nation feels dirty. He porn directs the models with phrases like 'you've wanted him for months'.

Helene and Alex bitch at each other about what time to get out of bed. They are like an old married couple; Claire will be jealous. Jenny M intervenes and bitches for no reason. They waffle on some more about what time to get up and it's a bit tedious.

Alex accuses Helene of being defensive which is the biggest case of pot and kettle the world has ever seen.

Claire and Lee hang their adverts and they are shockingly, awfully, terrible, like a low-budget 70s film with a leading man that looks like Lee without the scars. FAIL. But then all adverts produced in this show are FAIL so it means nothing. They practice their pitch and Lee stumbles. Here we would ask why Claire isn't doing it but we imagine they both have to do something. Claire tries to encourage him but he is very downbeat.

Alex and Helene are in the car, sitting as far apart from each other as possible and not speaking. Helene has her hair up and it doesn't look great. They and their team arrive at the location. The fragrance smells very chocolatey and they all look worried. Fiona thinks they have formulated the new chocolate Lynx.

Lee is stuttering outside and Claire is being all encouraging.

Time to practise the Dual pitch. Alex is pitching to a fake customer called Adam, who is 26 (not 24 and therefore not young), who works in a bank (doesn't sell grit) and it's all very reminiscent of Mavis, the home shopper.

Kevin says he wants to inject something into Helene (erk) and tries to show them how to pitch. Right.

We see the guests arriving, among them are 'top people' from perfume houses.

Roulette are up first, and here I think they should have just called the bottles Alpha and Rennaissance. Claire cries a bit and Lee says he's worked his tits off (with Helene and her balls, this Apprentice series is very gender challenged). At the event we have a casino layout, with a Christopher Lloyd lookalike juggleing glowsticks and some Moulin Rouge style dancers. We are confused and wish we had drugs and alcohol to help us make sense of this.

Claire pitches that gambling is important and this and fragrance are two booming industries. She gives cliches about placing a bet and really she is way too cheesy. Lee is up and says their guy is Wyan who is sick of metrosexuality and wants to look like a man and smell like a man. The guests look unimpressed and snigger at the smell like a man bit. The advert is rubish but at least shows the perfume, along with cheesy shots of the roulette and the couple. It's about forty years out of date though. The strapline is 'make the roules' which doesn't fit with the name Roulette. Claire says men are sick of smelling like their girlfriends and their fragrance smells of amber, Oriental spices and animals. Lots of gay botoxed men stick white strips up their noses.

They have some questions. One woman says she doesn't want to be endorsing gambling through her own brand. Claire BSes about the man who uses the perfume making his own rules. Claire says she hopes the other team balls it up because she wants to win. So you want to be the least worst then? Lofty ambition.

Alex and Helene have some martial-arty-shadow-boxers to launch theirs. Alex tells us we are going on a journey tonight (drrink). He tells us about Adam who lives in a cosmopolitan 24-hour society, and wants to release his inner self. He is the opposite of Wyan then.

They unveil Dual. Helene says there is nothing else like it: yuo can take out a 25mil bit from it but it isn't clear what the big bit does. She says it is something new that will stand out and their pitch is all a bit basic but probably better than the other team's in fairness. Their advert shows a young man being a twat, with some shape shifting action going on and a Raef vo about 'Dual: release your inner self' but the product doesn't appear til the end which Sralan won't like. One of the people in the audience loves the ad, says the message is coherent and Sralan is smiling. FUCKING ALEX IS GOING TO WIN, NO?

Someone asks them if they've done their pricing research. Alex says it would cost a few 'percentage points' more to make. What about pounds and pence, pretty boy? Sralan is sitting near Tim.

Some people there like the product but not the packaging. Some say Roulette owuld work immediately but wouldn't sell for long.

The voiceover growls that Sralans boardroom beckons, in the air the scent of victory andthe smell of defeat. The music playing sounds like Eminem's Lose Yourself and as they go into the boardroom, may I just point out the photos on the waiting room wall were taken by Dave Gorman.

Sralan asks Michael how Claire and Lee were. He says they were great. Jenny Celery and Simon don't say much, having been muted out of the whole programme so far. Claire says consumers want to smell like a man not unisex. Sralan tries to find out whether any of the apprentices are metrosexual. All but Simon, apparently. And Sralan and Nick, I imagine. Sralan questions them on the gambling. Claire says they were careful not to use gambling or chance in their ad or presentation. Nick says roulette=gambling, debt, misry. Some of the experts said the fragrance was 70s, which is exactly what we said some paragraphs up. We know our stuff.

Oh, Alex and Helene's team are Renaissance apparently. Alex tells them about the problems of deciding on a name. Kevin says Alex made all the decisions. Helene says she isn't surprised by the response ad that she helped guide the team discussions and chose how to spell 'dual', a job Lee McQueen clearly wouldn't have been able to do. Sralan says their fragrance was distinctive but he didn't like it. He asked Helene what she wears. She says Angel. Sralan said people had said it smelled like Angel/Amen. Sralan asks who designed the bottle and Alex pussyfoots around the fact that it was the designer's idea.

Sralan thanks the mostly quiet former apprentices and they leave. He tells 'Alpha' they made a mistake with the name roulette, that Lee's presentation has improved and Claire's Q and A was brilliant, but Q and A doesn't sell. Sralan tells Renaissance that the business side had slipped their mind because the packaging would cost 3-4 times more than the standard fragrance bottle. Sralan talks a bit of maths and says they have nothing left for marketing. He accuses them of not doing their sums and Helene says they didnt before Alex can pretend they did in some kind of roundabout way.

Sralan said the task was made up of several elements to bring his concerns to a crescendo and see whether they've signed on (what, like the 12 losers do each week at their local jobcentre plus?). Alex and Helene are fired and though I am sad that Helene is gone because I have her in a sweepy we are both very happy Alex is gone and Fiona is excited because Claire is her sweepy. And Alex is a cunt. We are so glad Alex has gone.

He cries in the car. He's only a baby, only 24, you know. Helene says they failed because of the bottle and blames Alex basically. Neither of them gets to wear a funky eviction coat. Alex goes on about being passionate and not eating. Fiona points out that Claire's been eating. And Sophocles proably. Alex is heartbroken.

We, and the nation, are probably going to be happy whatever. Margaret says they worked well together and managed the team well. I call Lee to win because the ballsy woman always, always comes second.

For some reason all their team are back in the boardroom, oh, it's to give opinions. Michael says Claire has shown tenacity and strength because of being in the boardroom. Simon says if you'd told his eight weeks ago he'd come back and champion Claire he have been surprised, but he loves both of them. Jenny Celery says Lee is an amazing guy and a real gentleman (which is not always true, as Sara and Lucinda could both attest to).

Claire pieces to camera that Lee would have cracked under pressure were it not for her. Lee says he WANTS it, because it's all about that andnot about competence.

Fiona thinks Claire will win, which is the opposite to me. Essex council have apparently offered an unspecified job to the runner up, so wit-woo, they both have the chance of some underwhelming work ahead.

Sralan asks why he should hire them. Claire says she has improved and she wants to keep improving. She says she is tougher than Lee and won't crumble, that she has more drive and she wants it more. Lee says he wants it more than anyone else in the process, that he has shown his leadership and sales abilities and his skills make him the next apprentice. Claire says she's proved it because most people would have cracked under the pressure. Randomly, Lee's gramar is better than Claire's today. Sralan questions Lee's self-confidence and whether he can keep going. Lee says he does and pulls himself together. Sralan says Claire has a point about resilience and Lee is good, doesn't she think? She says she's not interrupting.

Sralan worries whether Lee is a one-trick pony in terms of skills and he's not sure whether he can put up with someone like Claire. He likes Claire and Lee is very convincing. Lee - you're hired.

No alarms and no surprises and Claire joins Saira, Ruth and Kristina in the ballsy woman comes second camp, which I have been saying for weeks. Lee and Claire hug and she cries. Fiona says it's good because she's not sure what else Lee can do.

Lee is in the car saying it's unbelievable. Fiona says it looks like he really did want it.

Lee won a job selling advertising video screens. Umm, good for him.

That's all from us, but there'll be more bitching in August with The Bitch Factor, and join us for more Apprentice action next year! Probably!

Live! Tonight! Crushing Disappointment!!!

Don't forget to join Fiona and me tonight, from 9pm, where we will be blogging the final. LIVE!

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Release the hounds.

Week Eleven. Original air date 4th June.

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. These people want jobs. Sralan is as a god to you loathsome plebs. You know the score. Previously, the team tried to sell rides in cars. Michael’s insult your customer and then cry technique failed and he was, finally, fired. Lee was the ‘latest in a long line of project managers’ to clash with Lucinda.

Alex got £10,000 of business selling rides in shiny cars to men with small penises who wanted to compensate for it. He really was terribly good at that. Hmm. And apparently the economy really is in a bad state, because inflation is spiralling so badly that the £8,000 Alex made last week has risen to £10,000 in just a week. Stupid show. Sralan told Helene she was boring and shit.
Early morning call. Various candidates perform various ablutions. Shirtless Lee. Whatevs. Not/Frances phones. They’re off to one of Sralan’s head offices. They all know this is when Sralan sets his personal attack dogs on them. Lee is nervous because he’s going to get ‘an arsechewing’. His words, not mine.

Lucinda earns over £100,00 a year, and has been on the winning side on eight out of ten tasks. And should have won the icecream one except for stupid flukey last minute sales. She’s determined and stuff. Claire has six losses, the most. [Except Alex has also been on the losing team six times, and unlike Claire, has actually been the project manager of a losing team. Funny how that got brushed under the carpet. - Steve] She says losing is character building. I admire her stoicism but it’s not like she could say anything else. Lee has never been brought back in to the boardroom on a losing team. He tries to draw a football analogy. And fails.
In the car, Claire goes ‘it’s so exciting’ in a crazy voice. Heart Claire a little bit.

Alex draws attention to the fact that, at 24, he is YOUNG. His CV is not ‘long in the tooth’. He’s dynamic and agile. I’m not sure what he thinks the final job is going to be, where agility is part of the remit. Oh well, at least he didn’t say ‘supple’. Or ‘lithe’. Helene is a pricing leader for a global corporation. I still don’t know what that means. She claims she has a good CV and it’s not bullshit and she’s giving everything she’s got. Yawn.

Funky spy music plays as the cars pull up. Lucinda is resplendent in red. Sralan introduces the interviews. His rottweilers will report back and three people will get fired tomorrow.
Lee’s claims that his arse is on the floor because he’s shitting himself. Enough. I don’t even want to think about Alex’s arse, let alone Lee’s. [I still think about Lee's arse on occasion, but not in this context - Fiona]

Sralan’s rottweilers are:
Property magnate Paul Kemsley. He is assigned to go after strength of character in the candidates. He calls Alex boring.
Claude Litner was Sralan’s troubleshooter but is now his own boss. He calls Lucinda unemployable.
Gordon Catchup, CE of Viglen, says to Claire ‘you’re not the apprentice are you?’
Karren Brady, MD of Birmingham City football club, is A Bladdy Woman. She has to focus on personal strengths of the candidates, because god forbid a woman actually try to assess people on business acumen. She pwns lee on his skills.

All these people, with the possible exception of Brady, are vile, so I reserve the right to have spelt their names wrong and refer to them as different people.

Lee again says he’s nervous. WE GET IT. All his hard work could be out the window.
He says ‘good to meet ya’ to Paul. First impressions, Lee. Paul says that Lee’s CV says he uses humour to lighten things and asks Lee to perform his ‘reverse pterodactyl’ impression. Lee wheels his arms backwards and squawks. It’s bizarre. And I want to know what a forward pterodactyl looks like, and why a reverse one is necessary. Paul didn’t find it funny, and Sralan wouldn’t either. He asks why Lee didn’t say no, that it was a serious interview, and he wasn’t going to mess around. The answer is because Lee is a puppy dog who is so desperate to please that if you kicked him in the face he’d apologise for getting spittle on your shoes. But he tries to prove his seriousness, by giving an example of when he fired a 42 year old man with kids, who begged for his job. Nice. [And going on what happens later, I bet he totally made this up - Rad]

In the waiting room, Lee complains to Claire he was called nice. Claire’s like, that’s good! Lee says nice guys don’t win. Claire’s, like, ‘oh’. [Tim Campbell, nice guy, winner. Michelle Dewberry/Simon Ambrose - hardly nasty. Winners - Rad] [Tell that to Simon's former tenants. - Steve]

Claude says Lucinda is unemployable. She says that she’s a contractor and has never been out of work, so she’s not unemployable, you twat, as people keep employing her. He says ‘isn’t it because you’re unemployable?’ and somehow tries to twist the fact that Lucinda can swoop in and demand a massive amount of money for various companies into the fact that she can’t get a permanent job. It’s the weakest argument ever. He says that Lucinda is shit at teamwork. That’s fairer. She does tend to pout a bit when she’s not in charge. He asks how it was with the team mates. She says it was a struggle.

Claire says to Helene that Lucinda will stutter and get told to shut up and does a little posh ‘em.. hem…but I’ impression which, though mean, is not inaccurate. Lucinda says people don’t like her because nice voice and funny dress sense. Claude says ‘what about listening?’ Lucinda reiterates that she can do teamwork. Claude remains unconvinced. In the waiting room, Lucinda says to the others, ‘What am I doing here? Do I want to be a permanent employee with little diversity? I’d be crawling the walls.’ [Why does anyone want to work for NotAmstrad? It sounds dreadful. I still don't think Tim or Michelle have recovered - Rad]

Claude talks to Claire. He doesn’t like how she’s been in cosmetic, it seems, because he rants on about it. She was a club rep. OH! That makes so much sense. She claims that she likes a drink and likes boys, but hasn’t done anything her grandma would be embarrassed by. In her company, she increased profit to £8million. She’s on £85k, her bonus was £27k. He says that she’s shit at negotiating and should have got more money if she made that much profit. Outside, Claire says he was hot and Neanderthal and she should have sucked his lips off. [Yet another mental image I didn't need - Fiona]

One of the male rottweilers says to Alex, ‘you work in a supermarket?’ Alex is like, was fuck you I’m a regional manager. The bloke, says ‘Your CV is shit’. Alex thanks him. Karren asks Alex what his substance is. He says I’m great for my age, which is 24. I’m the best 24 year old ever and have achieved more than should ever be possible for one so very, very young. I’m practically a foetus. Karen says, ‘I ran a football club at 23, twatnut, what else you got?’
Claude questions why Alex has ‘English (fluent)’ listed on his CV. Is that not a given, pretty boy? [Well, Lee probably couldn't put that on his... - Steve] Alex says that he, at 24, is better than his friends, who are also 24, and went to private school for 14 years. Claude asks Alex what he’ll offer Sralan. Alex says he’s adaptable. And 24. Claude is like stop talking shit and give me something to work with. Alex claims to be ‘motivational’. So he doesn’t really say anything at all.

Helene talks about how she’s ballsy and a rottweiler is like ‘you’re not ballsy, you’re A Bladdy Woman’ and she’s like ‘I ran a team of all male engineers, and took over from a man in his 40s and they resisted and I whipped their sorry arses into show, the same way I will do yours if you continue to question my ballsiness.’ He’s like, but you ‘re leaving that job, with the implication that she can’t handle it and is, in fact, not ballsy, and she’s like yes I fucking am leaving cos I’m better than that job.

Brady asks Helene her best most defining experience. She talks about her alcoholic parents meaning she had to leave school really early and fought her way up. Credit where it’s due, she isn’t keen to talk about it and doesn’t seem entirely to rely on it, so she’d never get anywhere on the X Factor. Karen asks if it makes Helene a stronger candidate? Yes! She then tells Karren she struggled with the process cos she’s not used to being surrounded by 15 gobshites. Which, HA!, but also, perhaps not the best turn of phrase in a job interview.

Lucinda meets Paul. She likes pressing flowers, scuba diving and Chinese medicine. He then says she’s not a serious business woman. Because if she were a serious business woman, she’d be a man. He say she’ll probably fuck off and open a yoga retreat in Nepal. Because yoga is the same as aromatherapy and Chinese medicine if you’re A Tough No-Nonsense Businessman. Lucinda says that if she’d wanted to open a yoga retreat in Nepal she’d have done it by now. He says ‘are you motivated by money?’ and Lucinda totally pwns him with ‘no, because I earn in excess of what they’re offering’.

In the waiting area, they all sit about and bitch about Lucinda not wanting the job. Lucinda says she’s struggled with the process of people cackling and shoving. She says the process wasn’t fair. Paul is like ‘you’re a stupid gobby bitch who likes flowers and I hate you because you’re not a cunt’. Lucinda says, ‘nice to meet you anyway’.

Alex is told to find some energy. He goes on about being on full commission, which proves he has Hardcore Biznizz Skillz. His family got forced to move out…so they went to a farm and sold rocks and made money. And that’s entrepreneurial. Well done. I might have missed a step, but I swear that’s what he said. [He did - he and his brother sold rocks and made £7000 A WEEK. Of course they did. - Rad]

Scary cellos of doom.

Claude rips apart Lee’s application because he made about a million spelling mistakes. Lee is disappointed by his ‘grammical’ errors. Claude is like, did you do a degree pussy boy? Lee’s like, nah I’m thick. I did a two-year course for my catering managerness. Claude is like the uni says you were there 4 months! You lying little scrote. Cluade is worried that someone’s able to bullshit and Lee’s like i’m not going to bullshit and Claude’s like you just did. Lee’s got a blip in his integrity but he was ashamed about being thick. Poor Lee. It’s not his fault he’s badly educated and perhaps dyslexic, but lying on your CV for The Apprentice was bladdy stupid.

Helene’s form said ‘I’ve dipped my toe in the sea of success and am ready to dive into the ocean of opportunity.’ Oh man.

Claire says Sralan calls her big gob motor mouth but she doesn’t like all talk and no action, and she gets things done. She expects high standards and if she wants an email by 10 am she wants it there at 10 am. If she didn’t get it, she’d yell, and if she didn’t get it again, she’d stop working with that person.

Karren’s like why do you want it Lucinda? You earn more money, you’re doing what you like. Lucinda says it’s not money, she wants to be the best she can in a role that stretches her. Karren, being a nasty bitch, goes to the appearance well and is a bit snide about Lucinda’s colourful clothes and berets. Lucinda says that she stands out, which isn’t a bad thing, and the minute she opens her mouth they know she means business. Lee asks how she did. Lucinda says she felt better in the afternoon than the morning andnow she does want it.

Lucinda to-cameras that she’s glad to do it because she’s not a quitter. She’s got the skills and credibility and personality. Claire says for every her you need 10 quieter people, but people like her bring the business forward. Lee talks about being thick some more and says he made a mistake and learned from it. Not so much a mistake as a deliberate act, piggy, but I’ll let you off.
They’re all done. Back at the house, Lee says, ‘tomorrow, three of you will get fired’ and Alex is like three of YOU? Helene says there’s no shame in going in final five. Other than the shame of wanting to be on The Apprentice in the first place, of course.

Next day. Board room./ The rottweilers sit opposite Sralan, like candidates. Sralan thanks them for their time and so on.

Gordon says Alex is nice, positive, really wants the job. He was impressed that Alex was commission-only. Paul says he thinks Alex will be surprised because he likes him – he’s young (JUST 24!!!) and ambitious. Karren says he’s charming and good looking. We cut back to her interviewing him about his good looks, and she says he should embrace it and shouldn’t be ashamed of it. Sralan’s like ‘I’veve always traded on my looks’. They lol. Karren says Alex is The Apprentice. Nick suddenly loves him too. Paul says ‘junior apprentice’ and suggests he might need more training up. [They have all been hypnotised by has magic cock, just like all the PMs were. It's the only explanation! - Rad] Claude don’t like him.

Another bloke says Lucinda is brilliant, intelligent, and would be a disaster. Paul says she could aromatherapy the office. Because she is A Bladdy Woman and women only know about flowers and Lucinda is the floweriest of all. Karren says shut up you cunt. Sralan says she was on winning tasks eight times, and was great at leading. But is she good at being a team member? Margaret is like she’s shit at that, and has tantrums. Gordon says she’s shit and she doesn’t need the money. Sralan says ‘I’ll make you be her boss if you’re not careful.’ [Hee - Rad]

On Lee, Paul says the dinosaur impression was shit but Lee is nice. But he winked on his way out, which was bad. So Lee makes a bad first impression and a bad last impression. Good job. We see Karren making Lee sell her a crappy biro. He does quite well, but I’m doubting Karren’s business sense if the best challenge she can come up with is ‘sell me this pen’. Karren says it was good. It’s his big chance cos he’s cheesy and brash. George brings up the two years at uni lie. If he’s done as well as he’s claimed then he doesn’t need to do that. He’s got a hang up on his qualifications. Paul’s like, I lied about my qualifications too! It’s fine! Claude won't dismiss Lee out of hand.

Karren thinks Claire is fantastic, She knows everything about her business, and is a doer, and ‘if you don’t give her a job, I will’. She’s been on a journey. Oh, sorry. I mean, Been On A Journey. Claude doesn’t like her. Paul says she’s nice and he can see her in the canteen leading people in the Birdy Song because she is A Bladdy Woman. George says she won’t shut up. We cut to Claire gabbling about how she talks. Sralan talks about how she listened when he told her to shut up. One of the rottweilers says it’s an act and that she actually won’t shut up, ever. Which, so what? Whether she’s shut up or has pretended to shut up, so long as she’s quiet, who gives?

Claude likes Helene. She had a hard background. Sralan says ‘don’t care!’ [You cared a lot when it was Michelle, enough to fawn all over her and give her the job, you tosspot - Rad] Claude is like, ‘if you let me finish you cunt, she left school early because she was forced to work and not cos she’s thick and she’s actually kind of awesome’. Karren agrees. Paul says put her in the backroom because she is A Bladdy Woman and can’t be trusted. Karren says she lost her way a bit, but her upbringing is significant. Sralan says blah ‘I don’t like sob stories’ and Karren’s like, shut up, she’s good, her background is relevant, and she didn’t want to actually talk about it. Sralan thanks them all and especially Karren for being a lady. Srsly. He’s like, ‘and thanks especially to Karren for being A Bladdy Woman and giving us important perspective on Bladdy Woman issues like how the candidates smell and whether or not kittens are pretty’. [I'd have been more offended by this if Karren hadn't spent so long focusing on how pretty she thinks Alex is. - Steve]

Nick says that it’s odd that there was no clear favourite. Is it? Sralan says there are five good candidates and ‘Let’s call the apprentices in’. Apprentices in potentia, surely? Sralan says it was different from a task but still difficult. Sralan says to Alex – they don’t think you came alive in the interviews. Did you not think it was important? Alex is like I totally did but I don’t lose my temper. [No, he just gets snitty and defensive. That's way better. - Steve] Sralan is like I don’t like people who lose their temper. Alex manages not to lol in Sralan’s face and is like, l’m softly spoken but gave it my best. Sralan says Lee has worked in recruitment so it should have been a breeze. He asks what Lee thinks of people who overflower their CVs? What would you have done if someone had lied about education on their CV? Lee says he’d evaluate how important the lie was. Sralan says it puts into doubt how true the rest of his CV is.

Sralan says Claire took on board the too much talking thing. But you were talking again. Claire says they were intimidating and she’s chatty. So awesome. He says aren’t you lying and pretending to be quiet just to please me? Fuck off. That’s a bloody stupid thing to say and it doesn’t even matter. This really looks like they’re trying to build a ‘justification for Claire not getting the job’ edit. She says ‘I’ve changed since the first week, but I don’t think I should change completely.’ You go, girl.

Sralan says to Lucinda that as team leader, your teams thought you were great, but when you’re not in charge it’s crap. Lucinda says ‘I do like authority’ and Sralan says ‘I’m the boss’ and she’s like ‘I know you twat’. Another bullshit argument because, yes, she wouldn’t be in charge of everything, but she’d clearly be in charge of whatever wrecker’s yard in Basildon Sralan puts the apprentice in.

Alex sweeps in with a bit of ‘oh mim mim mim, by the way Miss, she said she didn’t want it’ and Lucinda’s like ‘I said I wasn’t sure, but I thought about it, and I do’ and Alex is like ‘you’re an airy fairy bitch’ and she’s like ‘I don’t need the job I want it, I’m taking a pay cut, so it’s obvious I want it, unlike you fucking wimps who are desperate, I can afford to do this for the hell of it’. Helene and Alex mim mim mim some more about how they do need the job. [Alex is such a disingenuous little snake. That was unforgivable, and I hope that every potential employer watching realises what a total bastard he is and never hires him for anything ever. - Steve]

Sralan says he has to decide who’s leaving and tells Helene that he’s a bit at sea with what she’s got to offer. Helene says ‘I’m not good at sales, but I did lots of things, unlike these twunts who do sales all the time and did sales when they came here, proving that they’re good at selling watches from the lining of a jacket, but little else. I’d have got fired from my Big American Company if I was shit, simple as that.’

He tells Alex that he’s young but ‘I want someone rounded’. Alex calls himself a partially painted canvas.

He tells Lucinda she’s a very clever lady, but asks if she’s channelled it correctly? She says she found it horrific to go through the process. He says ‘I warned you’. She’s like I lead awesomely and you know it. He says she’s too zany. And is fired. [Still - too zany is a fine enough reason to be fired - Rad] She gets her wheely case and leaves.

Lee is told to defend himself on CV lies. Lee says ‘I deliver! I have never failed to deliver as a leader or team member.’

Claire – ‘same thing, come on’. Not the same thing cos she didn’t change her CV so doesn’t have to defend it. She says she took a lot of critique – she means criticism – but kept coming back for more because she wants to learn. He goes on about how she talks too much and doesn’t listen. WHICH IS NOT TRUE.

But I’m going to let you stay. I’m going to let you all stay! Woohoo! Party! So yeah. They’re all in the final except Lucinda. Great. Sralan says ‘unusual final, but fair cos they’re all contenders’ [Or 'they're all bladdy useless, so let's see how they get on with a few months' working at NotAmstrad before I decide - Rad]

Eviction Coat watch. Kind of white and black giraffe print. Awesome, of course. Sralan says she’s a mystery and will never be in the company. Nick says ‘damn straight, girlfriend’. In the cab, Lucinda says she hasn’t been herself. She doesn’t yell about how she is great. Her accent wasn’t liked, the way she dresses wasn’t liked but she doesn’t care because ‘I am who I am and I don’t have to answer to them’. Go you! Heart Lucinda. She’s too good for this shit.

The final task is making a scent for men. It’s two teams of two. By the looks of it, Lee, rather than Claire, will be doing a sales pitch [and ditto for the other team, Alex pitching instead of Helene], which is an idea made of pure grade-A fail.

And next week we will be LIVE! BLOGGING! the final, so come and join us...